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Talikala: Online transactions increase prostitution victims

Certain social media pages are transacting prostituted women, including children as young as 12 years old, an advocacy group revealed.

Jeanette Ampog, the executive director of Talikala, lamented that a Facebook page has been operating for about four years but the page administrator is still unpunished.

Ampog admitted that online operations have increased number of women lured into prostitution.

With the advent of online transactions, many younger women have become victims of prostitution, she said.

Talikala, a group that helps sex trafficking and prostitution victims, said there are roughly 4,000 prostituted women in the city to date but the number continues to surge because social media provides an easier platform for illegal transactions.

“It is harder now to track the children who are victims of prostitution because of the use of online platforms for transactions,” said Ampog in a press conference at the Philippine Information Agency yesterday.

Ampog added that during one session with senior high school students, out 40 students, 17 of them have experienced being offered with money for sexual activities via online.

“There are many dummy accounts used for this kinds of transactions,” said Ampog.

Ampog added that there is a need to review the existing programs, particularly on its effectivity in addressing the causes of the persisting prostitution especially with the growing numbers of victims.

“We are working on the online sexual abuse and exploitation with children together with the Cybercrime protection group as well as the local council for the protection of the children,” said Ampog.

But despite working with law enforcers and other local government officials, the people behind the illegal activities who prey on vulnerable women are still not tracked down become some of the victims also do not complain.

“The Cybercrime group was working on a single case through Facebook, unfortunately there are no formal complainants. When they contact the victims, they usually do not reply,” she said.

Today, October 5, the International Day of No Prostitution is commemorated.

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